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British recession not as bad as previously thought

Britain’s recession is not as deep as previously thought, according to revised second-quarter data published Friday, but questions remain over the outlook for the rest of the year, analysts said. British gross domestic product (GDP) shrank 0.5 percent between April and June compared with the first quarter, the Office for…

Chinese women use ‘appearance consultants’ to snag rich bachelors

Young Chinese women in swishy dresses and strappy sandals sit in a row clutching forms that list their weight and measurements as they wait for an interview with the “appearance consultant”. Dressed as if for a beauty contest, they are among more than 1,000 bidding to make it to the…

Berlusconi got me pregnant: German starlet ‘Queen Bee’

A German starlet known as “Queen Bee” for her organising role at Silvio Berlusconi’s raunchy parties said in an interview on Friday that she is pregnant by the former Italian prime minister. Asked by investigative daily Il Fatto Quotidiano about the rumour that Berlusconi could be the father of her…

Lance Armstrong won’t fight doping agency claims

AFP – Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong announced he has decided not to continue his fight against the US Anti-Doping Agency’s claims that he used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong, while still maintaining his innocence, said in a statement on his website that he had made his decision after a…

Haiti Faces New Tragedy as Storm Isaac Swells

PORT-AU-PRINCE (AFP) – Haiti hunkered down Friday as forecasters warned that Tropical Storm Isaac could dump large amounts of rain on the impoverished country still recovering from a killer earthquake. Packing maximum sustained winds of 75 kilometers (45 miles) per hour, Isaac was centered some 265 kilometers south of Santo…

Deadly flare-up in Lebanon stokes Syria spillover fears

A sniper killed a Sunni sheikh in the north Lebanon city of Tripoli on Friday, sparking new clashes between pro- and anti-Syrian factions that dashed a tenuous truce, a security official told AFP. The death of Sheikh Khaled al-Baradei, 28, brought to 12 the number of people killed in fighting in the city…

US weighs dire scenarios to secure Syria’s WMD

WASHINGTON: US military planners are studying contingency plans for a potential mission in Syria without precedent — securing the regime’s chemical weapons in the midst of a raging civil war, officials and experts said. No military action is imminent at the moment, according to officials, but the Pentagon is grappling…

Smiling Norway mass killer Breivik jailed for 21 years

An Oslo court on Friday sentenced Norwegian far-right extremist Anders Behring Breivik to 21 years in prison, subject to extension, for his killing spree last year that left 77 people dead. The verdict, in line with what Breivik himself wanted, brings to an end a spectacular 10-week trial for the…

Greek PM in crisis talks with Merkel

Greece’s prime minister was expected to press for more time to make key reforms and spending cuts to keep his debt-wracked country in the eurozone at crisis talks Friday with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Antonis Samaras kicks off a two-day trip to Berlin and then Paris with Greece’s future in the…

New Zealand ‘runaway millionaire’ jailed for theft

A New Zealand man who fled to China after a bank mistakenly deposited millions of dollars into his account was jailed for four years and seven months Friday. Hui “Leo” Gao and his then-partner Kara Hurring skipped the country when Westpac bank accidentally put NZ$10 million (US$8.1 million) into Gao’s…

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